When things go wrong on a WordPress website, it can often be difficult to determine the cause. You may not even be able to login to your site at all – seeing the dreaded “white screen of death” or an “HTTP 500 error”.
These errors can be frustrating because a normal user wouldn’t know where to begin to resolve them. After all, if you can’t get into WordPress Admin, how can you fix an issue in WordPress?
As always when debugging issues in WordPress, be sure you have a reliable, working backup first. That’s going to save you a lot of headaches later if things aren’t easy to fix.
In fact, if you do have a good backup and you haven’t made any changes to your site recently, you may want to simply restore the backup and then debug the issue. These problems are usually caused by plugin, theme, or WordPress core updates so when your site is functional again, you can apply these one by one to determine the culprit.
If you don’t have a backup or can’t restore it because you don’t want to lose changes/data/orders on your site, then you may want to reach out to your host for help. A good host can usually diagnose the cause of these issues more quickly than you can and the issue may be on the server itself, which is something they would need to fix anyway. Word of caution: a not-so-good host can make things worse, so again, backups are important.
If those options don’t pan out, then you’re going to need to dive in and fix things yourself. In the video below, we go into how to diagnose the cause of the problem and resolve it.